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Saturday, April 26, 2014

Airtel Rising Stars Players happy with training

Participants of the five-day Airtel Rising Stars international soccer clinic take part In training at the Azam complex, Dar es Salaam.
Andrew Stokes, a Manchester United Soccer school coach gives instructions to the participants of the Airtel Rising Stars International soccer clinic which is taking place at the Azam Complex, Dar es Salaam. The clinic comes to end on Sunday.

Participants of the five-day Airtel Rising Stars International soccer clinic have praised showers to the Manchester United Soccer school coaches who are guiding the clinic. The young players said they have learned a lot for the last three days and they are confident that they will have improved their soccer skills come the end of the clinic.

“We have learned how to dribble a ball well, and I am more confident in my dribbling skills than I was before I came here,” said Tiago Gova from Malawi. 

Watching the young students at the soccer clinic play, it is evident that in just a few days, they have picked up several professional footballers’ skills, vastly improving their method of playing the sport. This has instilled both pride and confidence among the players. “We feel like we are approaching professional heights, we are getting good!" Thomas Chindeka, a student player from Tanzania. 

Sixteen year old Lily Awour from Kenya who started playing football  at the age of nine says she was inspired by her sports master to play football.  The form two student says that from the skills she has gained at the clinic she is inspired to explore soccer as a profession. “I am excited about soccer now more than ever before. I want to take it higher and play for my team back home,” she added. 

Another  soccer star at the clinic is fifteen year old Ibrahim Shambi Mombasa, Kenya . He says he, too, is motivated to take up soccer as a professional career. “Since I came to the clinic, I have developed great passing and scoring skills. I am now able to pass a ball, with focus and score for my team,” he remarked. “Our coaches have emphasized on teamwork as well as keeping focus on the game and the ball to score a goal,” he added.

Besides football skills the coaches have paid special attention to encouraging the students to stay focused on education. “Not everyone will be a professional footballer," explains Neil Scott, who is the Head coach of the clinic. "I would like you to work hard in school just like you work here in the field.”

In addition, students have also learnt about discipline, respect, and tolerance, to ensure they are groomed as all-round players. 

The clinic runs until Sunday and has seen 72 girls and boys of age 13-17 from 12 African countries come together for the clinic under the guidance of Manchester United Soccer schools. This is the third international soccer clinic for the Airtel, in partnership with Manchester United FC to host.